Center for Nonprofit Excellence
LEAD Institute

LEAD Institute


LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) is a year-long leadership development institute for nonprofit managers serving the diverse communities of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Since it began in 2009, over 130 leaders representing 96 organizations have completed the program.

LEAD Institute

LEAD Testimonial Thumbnail

How LEAD benefits you as a leader

Alumni typically take on greater leadership after graduating from LEAD. LEAD can help you

  • Ground yourself in personal growth and a vibrant peer network
  • Gain confidence and clarity as you move forward on your path
  • Take a big picture look at nonprofit management topics to understand how organizations function. Find a list of topics on our details page.
  • Explore the role nonprofits have in making systems change

If you are interested in applying, respond to this short Interest Form.

LEAD Interest Form

Rene CasasLEAD will allow you to tap into your greatness and help identify your strengths as it relates to both personal and professional development. René Casas, CSUMB

How LEAD benefits your organization

  • An affordable investment to maximize your staff’s full leadership potential. Scholarships available
  • LEAD projects have tangible organizational impact. Tools and skills can be shared in the organization immediately.
  • Graduates understand the complexities of running an entire organization, not just a department or program.

Andrea TurnbullIt is a wonderful experience to work with our LEAD participant, because they come back from LEAD feeling inspired and ready to take on leadership challenges. – Andrea Turnbull, Community Connection


LEAD is jointly certificated through the Community Foundation for Monterey County and CSU Monterey Bay’s Extended Education program in coordination with the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County and the Community Foundation for San Benito County. It is now fully funded by the Community Foundation for Monterey County.

We Gratefully Acknowledge Our Partners, Advisors and Funders

Location Sponsor

The Harden Foundation

Educational Partner

CSU, Monterey Bay, Extended Ed and & International Programs

Program Design Partners (2008-2010)

LeaderSpring, Initial Program Design Support
CompassPoint NonProfit Services
Community Resource Center, Denver, CO
Local Initiative Support Corporation

Initial Funding Support (2008-2012)

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
The James Irvine Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Now fully funded by the Community Foundation for Monterey County.


What You Will Learn

LEAD Small group discussionThe LEAD Institute requires a high level of commitment, reflection and readiness. It is an opportunity to add to your nonprofit management toolkit, develop confidence as a leader, and engage with a diverse network of peers from across the region. We integrate an approach of cultural competency and collaboration in all aspects of LEAD.

Because an important part of the learning is applying new skills and knowledge in your workplace, support from your supervisor and organization is important.

Leadership and Management Topics

  • Personal and Collective Sense of Leadership
  • Cultural Proficiency and Cultural Competency in My Organization
  • Leading from Where You Are, Facilitation/ Communication
  • Program Development, Project Management, Evaluation
  • Leading Organizational Change, Supervision
  • Strategic Planning/Thinking
  • Advocacy, Collaboration
  • Boards, Community Leadership Panel
  • Fund Development
  • Public Communications
  • Financial Management
  • Leadership in a Changing World
  • Building a Learning community
  • Critical Thinking

Leadership Coaching

LEAD coaching

Now recruiting leadership coaches for 2019 LEAD. Please complete this brief application or contact LEAD staff for more information:

Download LEAD Coaching Flyer

Work one-on-one with an experienced leadership coach.

  • Develop confidence and advance your LEAD goals and projects
  • Customize a learning plan for your specific situation
  • Practice peer listening skills as you support fellow participants

Having a coach dedicated to challenging me on my issues, celebrating my successes and helping brainstorm through problems was a powerful step in my evolution as a leader. 2011 LEAD participant

LEAD Coaches 2017

Thank you to our 2017 pro bono LEAD coaches:

Dena Adriance
Anne Auburn
Briana Bellamy
Jennifer Britton
Marie Earl
Todd Emaus
Anna Foglia
Grace Hammond
Denise Kaku
Windsor Lindor
Kay Logterman
Tobi Marcus
Lisette Miles
Evelin E. Montes
Diane Ortiz
Michelle Slade
Ron Wormser

Seminar Dates & Time Commitment

Attendance for the full seminar day is essential, and there are no unexcused absences.  Successful completion of sessions and assignments by December 2019 and the ability to demonstrate integration of content areas in professional life and leadership qualify you for a LEAD Certificate of Completion.

  • 12 full-day seminars – ten Fridays and two Saturday sessions
  • Assignments, leadership coaching and a project with immediate workplace application (2-3 hours per week)
  • Contact LEAD staff to be considered for Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

2019 Seminar Dates

Date Activity
December 2018 & January 2019 Online Assignments
January 11, 2019 Orientation for Supervisors
February 8, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Salinas)
February 9, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monterey)
March 8, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Salinas)
April 12, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Salinas)
May 10, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Salinas)
June 14, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Salinas)
July 12, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Salinas)
July 13, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monterey)
August 9, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Salinas)
September 13, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Salinas)
October 11, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Salinas)
November 8, 2019 Seminar 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Salinas)
December 13, 2019 Graduation



Applying to LEAD

Apply Online

LEAD requires the support of the nonprofit organization and direct supervisor to successfully apply learning in the workplace.  We recommend you discuss your goals, the benefits to the organization and commitment required to participate. Nonprofits based in Santa Cruz, Monterey or San Benito Counties are eligible.

  1. Complete a brief Interest Form and we will contact you with a full application.
  2. Application deadline is Friday October 5, 2018 (or September 14 for early bird tuition discount).

Anna Foglia Sun Street CentersI encourage you to put the effort in and supervise leadership development. It can make a big impact on your organization in the long term and offer the type of quality staff development that is rarely available locally. Anna Foglia, CEO of Sun Street Centers

Tuition and Scholarships

We are committed to working with all accepted applicants and their organizations to coordinate tuition funding. Significant partial scholarships and payment plans are available.

Organization’s Budget Size Apply by 9/14 (Early Bird) Apply by 10/5
< $500,000 $1,575 $1,750
$500,000 – $999,999 $1,800 $2,000
$1,000,000 – $5,000,000 $2,160 $2,400
> $5,000,000 $2,430 $2,700

Application and Selection Criteria

Successful candidates demonstrate:

  • Interest in taking on greater leadership in the next 18 months
  • Support from organization
  • Experience supervising others
  • Understanding of community dynamics and critical thinking
  • Integrity and a commitment to life-long learning

LEAD Institute Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

LEAD Application Dates

LEAD Application Dates

Date Activity
Friday, September 14, 2018 Early Bird Application Deadline
Friday, October 5, 2018 Final Application Deadline
September – November 2018 Interviews
December 2018 Candidates Notified, Online Assignments Begin
January 11, 2019 Tuition Due or Payment Plan in Place



LEAD Alumni and Participants

LEAD is an opportunity to engage with the extensive network of alumni in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties.

The network is guided by an Alumni Board.  Activities help alumni to stay connected, continue learning, and renew energy for leadership growth.

Recent alumni activities include: reunions by class, professional development and peer coaching.

Mireya Gomez ContrerasThe new tools and support network of other leaders helps me feel consistently hopeful even through challenging times. – Mireya Gomez-Contreras, Arts Council of Santa Cruz County


Monterey County Nonprofits & Alumni

  • 2nd Chance Family and Youth Services (Laura Tinajero)
  • Access Support Network (Daniela Mejia & Paris De La Rosa)
  • Ag Land Trust (Virginia Jameson)
  • Alisal Center for the Fine Arts (Willow Aray & Juan Carlos Gonzalez)
  • ARIEL Theatrical (Samantha Barnes)
  • Arts Council for Monterey County (Berniz House)
  • Building Healthy Communities – East Salinas (Carmen Gil)
  • California Breastfeeding Coalition (Robbie Gonzalez-Dow)
  • Camp SEA Lab (Amity Wood)
  • The Carmel Foundation (Aimee Cuda, Kimberly Willison)
  • Central Coast HIV/AIDS Services (Katie Murphy)
  • Central Coast YMCA: South County Branch (Leti Bocanegra)
  • CHISPA (Jonathan Bohorquez, Ruth Rodriguez)
  • CSUMB (Rene Casas)
  • Coalition of Homeless Services Providers (Jocelyn Brady)
  • Community Foundation for Monterey County (Aurelio Salazar, Jr.)
  • Community Human Services (Rob Rapp & Valerie Catania)
  • Community Partnership for Youth (Benjamin Bruce)
  • Door to Hope (Denise Felix, Patterson Emesibe)
  • Environmental Justice Coalition for Water (Vicente Lara)
  • Everyone’s Harvest (Iris Diana Jehle-Peppard)
  • Family Connections – MPUSD/First 5 (Jan Phillips Paulsen)
  • First 5 Monterey County (David Dobrowski)
  • First Methodist Church in Salinas (Cindy Storrs)
  • Food Bank for Monterey County (Melissa Hartman)
  • Hartnell College Foundation (Priscilla Amao)
  • HOPE Services (Greg Dinsmore)
  • Housing Resource Center of Monterey County (Jennifer Rego)
  • INTERIM, INC (Idalia Matthews, Alejandro Amezcua, Carolina Cortez, Christina Barnes, Carmen Torres, Lara Stahl, Lisa Corpuz, Judith Gonzalez & Maritza Allen)
  • iResult, LLC (Niña Magsaysay Rosete)
  • Legal Services for Seniors (Philip M. Geiger)
  • The Literacy Campaign for Monterey County (M. Crystal Macias-Diaz)
  • Loaves Fishes & Computers, Inc. (Elizabeth Panetta)
  • Lyceum (Joyce Breckenridge)
  • Mandell Gisnet Center for Conflict Management (Isabel Bjork)
  • Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley, Inc. (Claudia Aguilera)
  • MEarth (Juliet Pool)
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium (Ava Ferguson & Ileana Ortega Brunetti, Jennifer Rigney)
  • Monterey County Office of Education Head Start and Early Head Start (Isabel Valtierra)
  • Monterey County Rape Crisis Center (Nina Alcaraz)
  • Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History (Ann Wasser)
  • Parents’ Place, Pacific Grove Adult School, PGUSD (Elizabeth Olney)
  • Peacock Acres (Nathan Jones)
  • Point Lobos Foundation (Anna Patterson)
  • Rancho Cielo Youth Campus, Inc. (Trish Alcocer)
  • Restorative Justice Partners, Inc. (Jennie Burciaga)
  • Return of the Natives Restoration and Education Project (Emily Howard)
  • The Salvation Army, Service Extension (Amelia Gomez)
  • Shelter Outreach Plus (Leticia Bejarano)
  • Soledad Unified School District (Cristina Sotelo)
  • Special Kids Crusade (Laura Harris)
  • Sun Street Centers (John Bokanovich, Marciano Huerta & Eddie Hathcock)
  • Turning Point of Central California (Pearl Sanchez)
  • United Way Monterey County (Kate Mitchell Mehle & Mayra Perez)
  • Volunteer Center (Gilda Estrada)
  • Youth Music Monterey County (Vanisha Evans Douvon)
  • Youth Orchestra Salinas (Michael Gomez)
  • YWCA Monterey County (Germaine Esquivel)

San Benito County Nonprofits & Alumni

  • CASA of San Benito County (Esther Curtice)
  • Chamberlain’s Children Center, Inc. (Krystal Jones, Gracie Lucatero & Patrick Ellis)
  • Community Foundation for San Benito County (Raul Ceja)
  • Community Solutions (Vanessa Garcia)
  • Community Vision San Benito Co. (Colleen Johnson)
  • Emmaus House (Mary Lou Coffelt)
  • Hollister Youth Alliance (Zenedith Espinoza)
  • Pinnacles Partnership (Rochelle Fischer)
  • United Way of San Benito (Vicki Fortino)

Santa Cruz County Nonprofits & Alumni

  • Arts Council Santa Cruz County (Megan Searcy & Nabil Ghachem)
  • Break Away College Access Project (Carol Schimke)
  • Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (Jessica Frye)
  • Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County Inc. (Juan Luis Romero, Mireya Gomez-Contreras)
  • Community Restoration Project (Javier Diaz)
  • The Shelter Project (Norma Sanchez)
  • Community Alliance with Family Farmers (Kathryn Spencer)
  • Community Bridges
    • Beach Flats Community Center (Reyna Ruiz)
    • La Manzana Community Resources (­­­Gabriela López Chávez)
    • Community Connection (Mark Vasquez, Jodie Wells, Salina Nevarez & Uriel Mendoza)
  • Easter Seals Central California (Stephanie Flores & Stella Lauerman)
  • El Pajaro CDC (Amy Mascareñas)
  • Encompass Community Services (Maria Sanchez & Leigh Guerrero)
  • Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay (Beth Bowman)
  • Homeless Garden Project (Darrie Ganzhorn)
  • Mesa Verde Gardens (Ana Rasmussen)
  • Museo Eduardo Carillo (Betsy Andersen)
  • Pajaro Valley Arts Council (Norma Villaron)
  • Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance, Inc. (Silvia Diaz)
  • Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County (Lea Haratani)
  • Salud Para La Gente (Dail Vannerus, Michelle De Anda, Rosalba Contreras, Rachel Sandobal & Theresa Merendon)
  • Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (Diana Kapsner)
  • Save Our Shores (Ginaia Kelly)
  • Tandy Beal & Company (Jennifer Radakovich)
  • Watsonville Film Festival (Consuelo Alba-Speyer)
  • The Watsonville Law Center (Adriana Melgoza, Monica Pereira & Henry Martin)
  • Watsonville Volunteer Center (Blanca Carrillo)
  • Watsonville Wetlands Watch (Jonathan Pilch)
  • Women’s Crisis Support – Defensa de Mujeres (Lucila Sanchez)
  • YWCA of Watsonville (Emelia Leon)

LEAD Login


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This login area is for LEAD participants only to access certain educational materials.